HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The political pulse in the Pine Belt was beating quickly Tuesday as voters turned out for an election set to become a state record.
"This is our duty as citizens," said voter Arnetta Brown.
"I hope for some real change," said voter Belinda Minor.
"People were lined up when I got there at 6:45 [Tuesday] morning. They were out the door, before they started at seven. We've been to precincts in about four or five counties. We're headed for a record turn out," said Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Hosemann spent part of the day in the pine Belt where two judicial elections required a write-in candidate. One, a circuit judge in the 13th district, the other, a post one chancery judge in the tenth district. This, after the only candidates for the spots, both incumbents died. That's where it got a little confusing for some folks.
"The write-in process was confusing so I just skipped over that, I'm just going to be honest," said Brown.
"A little bit confusing, but you've just got to slow down and take a look at it and reread it. It does give you the opportunity to go back and change things if you need to," said Minor.
"We tried real hard. We don't want to loose one vote so we have a zero-tolerance," said Hosemann.
Other than voter confusion, Hosemann says more polling machines had to be rushed to precincts in Magee because of an under estimation of voter turnout, making some folks wait about 45 minutes. Coupled with a hotly contested fourth district congressional race, it's that type of turnout, Hosemann says sends a strong message.
"There is a strong feeling in the country that we're at a crossroads and I think we're going to see the intent of the voters turnout and the Congress be elected to reflect that intent this time," said Hosemann.
"I feel I've done something positive today. I hope and pray that the people that I picked, if they do win, I hope they make a difference," said voter Paul Carpenter.
"I think that we all have the right and the privilege to take care of this country," said Minor.
"Instead of sitting at home, watching the day go by. I think to be active in the community, we need to get out and participate and do more positive things," said Carpenter.
"Our vote does count, and I thank God for that," said Brown.